A moment of sobriety
2014 started with the presentation of timepieces with compact cases. This led us to believe that this year would once again be the year of Asian markets. It would also be an excuse for the brands to express a sudden interest in the female market. However, after the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) in Geneva, horological intentions seem to be quite different. The gradual end of the Chinese euphoria coupled with the anti-corruption investigations carried out in the Middle Kingdom brought about this moment of sobriety. Furthermore, women have finally been acknowledged as potential buyers by watchmakers.
‘Bling-bling’ has been replaced by discreet elegance. Even the somewhat flashy sports models, such as diving watches, have shown a tendency to restraint. Examples include the Calibre Diver by Cartier or the Aquatimer by IWC. Sobriety has reached even complicated watches, as is the case of the Tourbillon 24 secondes by Greubel Forsey which features an anthracite dial.
The thinnest of the thin
Sobriety is often associated with thinness. The tendencies for 2014 prove that watch cases can be even more compact. For instance, the Altiplano 900P by Piaget, the Hybris Mechanica 11 by Jaeger-LeCoultre or the Référence 5377 by Breguet have all broken records.
Diamonds and complications
Watchmakers have always sought to seduce women. This year, the wish was materialized in the form of production, and the amount of feminine novelties matched that of masculine ones. Richard Mille introduced no less than four models for women including the very glam-rock Tourbillon RM 19-01 Natalie Portman. Vacheron Constantin added three new feminine models to its Malte collection. It is a pity, however, that this heartening opening to the fair sex did not prevent the woman = diamond cliché at all.
As for complicated watches, the (very) well-made heads give the impression that word was sent around to propose innovating versions of perpetual calendars, some of which have not yet been presented. An example of those would be the Rotonde de Cartier Astrocalendaire.